LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE
Today’s economy is increasingly globalized, and this means that many of us are interacting across cultures in a way we never did before. In such an economy, the importance of learning a second language becomes self-evident. Learning a second language helps you to communicate across cultures and to conduct business in lands you may never have previously considered viable markets. It also helps you to address customers in the language that they understand best and in which they are most comfortable communicating. Additionally, the importance of learning a second language is emphasized every day when we see the diversity of earth’s cultures and the amazing array of people that make up our global community.
That said, there is another reason supporting the importance of learning a second language. Scientific studies have shown that learning a second language improves brain function and stimulates creativity. When you know a new language, you start to see connections you didn’t see before because every language approaches the world in a slightly different way. As a result, you have the opportunity to understand the world from the perspective of another culture and gain a greater appreciation of human society in all its diversity. As a consequence, the importance of learning a second language is again reinforced. You become not just equipped to communicate across cultures but empowered to understand others’ points of view.
English as a Second Language
Today, an individual has access to a vast array of information from a variety of world cultures at the touch of a button. For those of us in the English speaking world, we take access to this information for granted. Elsewhere, however, much of the world’s information is beyond their reach, locked in English. That is one reason why learning English as a second language has become so popular. In fact, English is now the world’s most widely spoken second language, surpassing all others. In fact, more people now speak English as a second language than as their first language.
As a result, there has never been a greater demand for classes to learn English as a second language. English is the gateway to a world of knowledge, commerce, and culture, a lingua franca that gives a student access to the world in a way that other languages do not. Just as Latin was the most important language for a thousand years and French for five hundred, English is today the key to participating in the global conversation. There are a variety of ways to learn English as a second language, including computer programs, audio tapes, classes, and immersion. Picking the right method for you requires some insight and self-understanding.